“INFORMATION COCOONS”. In 2007, in REPUBLIC.COM, as this Amazon book description says, Cass Sunstein “warned against ‘information cocoons’ and ‘echo chambers,’ wherein people avoid the news and opinions that they don’t want to hear.” He restated his concerns here in 2012. When I first read about Sunstein’s views, I resisted them, believing that the internet presents on the whole a wonderful opportunity to read different opinions. Now that Yahoo is sending the reader news tailored to what they conclude are the reader’s interests—with the possibility in the future of tailoring articles to the reader’s opinions—I am taking Professor Sunstein’s warnings more seriously.

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  1. Nathaniel says:

    Sunstein puts into words what I’ve been observing for quite some time, especially through this last election season. I’ve got my opinions about certain issues, but I try to explain myself sufficiently or take as objective an approach as possible…yet in this culture of Facebook and Twitter where we tend more and more to shout sentence-long opinions or post links and wait for the Likes and retweets to come in, we’re losing the personal discussion that keeps us from being walking opinions. And it’s much easier to hate an opinion than it is to hate a whole person. I hadn’t even thought about how custom-tailored news articles might also influence us.

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